Posted December 6, 2010 by Jennifer Lam in Destinations

Yakiniku Kotatsu (焼肉 虎龍), Osaka, Japan

Earlier on in the trip, the boys and I had a serious craving for beef and luckily stumbled across this glamorous yakiniku (grill) restaurant called Kotatsu. The girls went back to the awesome tempura place from the first night, but I was determined to get some beef.

Yakiniku Kotatsu (焼肉 虎龍), Osaka, Japan - at the chef's table

Yakiniku Kotatsu (焼肉 虎龍), Osaka, Japan - assorted kimchi

The interior is as sophisticated and sleek as the building’s facade, and I later learn (thanks to the trusty Google translator), that the restaurant buys the finest Japanese beef whole, by the head. This allows their menu to feature a wide variety of dishes from classic grilled meats to rare offal cuts that they claim to even satisfy connoisseurs.
As there is no English menu, we take our chances and and opt for one of the banquet courses, 龍コース, the “long course” which is 4800円 per person (about AU$58.60).
I’m a little anxious when I see that the first course is an assorted sashimi of three beef organs. The chef uses his own body as a diagram when we ask him what each item is. There’s liver, lung and tripe (sanmai, third stomach). Who knew you could eat these raw?
Expecting it to taste awful, I pick up a slice of liver and throw it down my throat, only chewing the slightest amount.
You know what… It looks freaky, but all three actually taste pretty amazing! The delicious marinades and sauces definitely hide the gross factor.
The liver is like a crisp jelly, slightly milky and sweet with a clean aftertaste. The lung is deep red in colour and is probably the hardest to swallow as there is a slight chew, but it isn’t unpleasant. The sanmai is an ugly grey and white; crunchy in texture and actually reminds me of its cooked version.

Yakiniku Kotatsu (焼肉 虎龍), Osaka, Japan - ホルモンの刺身三種盛り合わせ - assorted sashimi three hormones

Next course is much easier to handle – a simple but addictive cabbage salad.

Yakiniku Kotatsu (焼肉 虎龍), Osaka, Japan - やみつきキャベツ - addictive cabbage

Yakiniku Kotatsu (焼肉 虎龍), Osaka, Japan - 季節野菜のナムル盛り合わせ - assorted seasonal vegetables

Some assorted pickled vegetables, kimchi and sesame leaves are next, served with three different cuts of beef (forgot what they were!). We are guided to DIY, grilling the meats, topping it with the garlic and oil mixture and wrapping them within the sesame leaves as hand rolls before dipping into a selection of sauces. Delicious!

Yakiniku Kotatsu (焼肉 虎龍), Osaka, Japan - 焼肉三種盛り合わせ - three assorted meat

Yakiniku Kotatsu (焼肉 虎龍), Osaka, Japan - DIY wrap with sesame leaves

Yakiniku Kotatsu (焼肉 虎龍), Osaka, Japan - 焼き野菜の盛り合わせ - assorted grilled vegetables

Yakiniku Kotatsu (焼肉 虎龍), Osaka, Japan - flame on charred meats

Then we have skewers of seasonal vegetables – onion, potato, pumpkin and capsicum – and a plate of four offal cuts, all for the grill. Most are unrecognisable but I spot the horumon which is the small intestine. These diced tubular cuts are chewy and plump and satisfying in the same way I’d enjoy duck fat.

Yakiniku Kotatsu (焼肉 虎龍), Osaka, Japan - ホルモンの4種盛り合わせ - 4 assorted vegetables rino mori hormone case

Second last course is a choice between cold noodles or bibimbap – we all go for the cold noodles as a refresher.

Yakiniku Kotatsu (焼肉 虎龍), Osaka, Japan - 冷麺又はビビンバ - cold noodles or bibimbap

And finish off the only way we know how in Japan, with matcha ice cream.

Yakiniku Kotatsu (焼肉 虎龍), Osaka, Japan - アイスクリーム又は果実のシャーベット- ice cream or fruit sorbet

What an epic feast! Don’t you just love it when a gamble pays off?

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Yakiniku Kotatsu
大阪府大阪市北区曾根崎新地1丁目9−6, 530-0002, Japan
Phone: +81 06 6343 2929
Web: www.medic-web.jp/shop/s10001751

Jennifer Lam

Jennifer is the founder of I Ate My Way Through. Growing up in the multicultural melting pot of Sydney’s Inner West as a second generation Australian (of Vietnamese refugee parents of Teochew Chinese ancestry), Jen has always had a deep curiosity about global cuisines, culinary heritage and the cultural assimilation of immigrants. For Jen and her family, food is always at the centre of all celebrations, life events and milestones. A lover of the finer things in life, as well as cheap eats, her blogging ethos is all about empowering and inspiring people to expand their culinary repertoire. These days, you'll most likely find Jen blogging about slow & intentional living On The Slow Lane and sharing what she knows now about mindful parenting and play-based learning at Mama's Got This.